U.S. To Impose $50 Billion In Tariffs On Chinese Goods; China Says It Will Retaliate
On Friday, President Donald Trump‘s administration announced it would impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, thus further escalating a trade war with yet another foreign country.
Trump Administration To Impose Tariffs On China
China quickly replied by promising to retaliate with its own trade penalties of “equal strength.” The Office of the United States Trade Representative said that on July 6, tariffs on about $34 billions of Chinese products will go into effect. The government is also proposing an additional $16 billion in tariffs, although that list of products has yet to be reviewed.
The Trump administration’s decision is surprising given the president’s statement earlier this spring in which he vowed to help save jobs at ZTE, a Chinese electronics company. Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly urged Trump to come to the aid of ZTE after the firm was hit with U.S. sanctions. It was also recently revealed that first daughter Ivanka Trump had Chinese trademarks approved for many of her product brands. The Senate tried to block Trump’s ZTE deal this week.
China’s Commerce Ministry also reportedly announced it would end plans to purchase American farm products and other exports. The country did not specify which other types of goods it would impose retaliatory penalties on, although agricultural products and manufactured goods are believed to be on the list.
According to The New York Times, the U.S.’s tariffs on China will be applied to “1,102 categories of Chinese goods” that include products made in “high-tech industries like aerospace, automobiles, industrial machinery, information technology and robotics.” However, electronics made in China that Americans often buy, like cellphones and televisions, reportedly won’t be hit with taxes.
The latest development also comes after Trump vowed earlier this month to impose tariffs on goods coming from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, three of the U.S.’s closest allies. Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been sparring ever since that announcement, and their feud only grew more intense after the G7 summit was held in Quebec, Canada last weekend. Trudeau is one of several foreign leaders who heavily criticized the U.S. for its tariffs imposition, calling the move “illegal.”
In April, China’s Commerce Ministry reportedly formed a list of potential American goods that could be taxed or receive other penalties. This list included orange juice, whiskey, soybeans and beef. These product penalties could thus affect many of Trump’s rural supporters.
Trump and several prominent Republicans have long criticized China for its economic policies, accusing the nation of currency manipulation and dumping, among other unfair trade practices.
According to the Times, the Trump administration is also seeking to limit Chinese investments in the U.S., especially with regards to advanced technology. The White House is set to announce those restrictions in the coming weeks, thus tensions between the two countries could further increase.